Old growth cedars. Wildsight file

Old growth cedars. Wildsight file

Guided June hikes explore old-growth forests in seven Kootenay communities

Wildsight, a non-profit working to protect biodiversity and encourage sustainable communities, is offering guided walks to connect people to old growth forests in the Kootenay region.

The hikes will be led by Eddie Petryshen, Wildsight’s Conservation Specialist or Jenna Shulhof, the Columbia Valley Conservation Coordinator.

Seven different communities hikes are planned: Golden, Creston, Invermere, Nelson, Kimberley/Cranbrook, Fernie and Revelstoke.

• Golden, June 10 – a two-kilometre hike with some elevation gain to an older fir forest.

• Creston, June 10 – in the Ka-Papa Cedars trail towards Kootenay Pass. The old growth forest loop is approximately three kilometres of on-trail walking through an ancient cedar-hemlock stand.

• Invermere, June 11 – location TBD.

• Nelson, June 11 – A two- to three-kilometre walk through an old and ancient cedar-hemlock forest. Portions may be off-trail and steep walking. Pants are recommended as devils club is a spiny, prickly plant that makes up the understory in these forests.

• Kimberley-Cranbrook, June 17 – a more strenuous hike of roughly three to four kilometres with some elevation gain through open forest and an old growth Douglas fir/ponderosa pine stand.

• Fernie, June 18 – location TBD.

• Revelstoke June 25 – this one- to two-kilometre walk near Downie Creek, north of Revelstoke, will explore a valley bottom ancient cedar-hemlock forest. Pants are recommended as devils club is a spiny prickly plant that makes up the understory in these forests.

*Please note, Nelson and Wycliffe (Kimberley-Cranbrook) locations will require high-clearance vehicles. Wildsight expects to carpool, so seats may be available for those without an appropriate vehicle.

Kids are welcome but be advised that some hikes are longer and more strenuous than others. In addition, some of the forests will require 45- to 60-minute drive times. Wildsight recommends not bringing dogs to the events.

All events will start with a meet-up location at 10 a.m. local time before participants drive to the old growth locations and trails.

For more information contact eddie@wildsight.ca

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